Friday, April 24, 2015

Blessings in Disguise

“God’s greatest blessings often come costumed as disasters.”  Max Lucado

For me a disaster occurs when my supply of M & M’s runs empty.  Panic sets in.  Then wonders of all wonders I discover a mini snack size bag of my “Happy Pills” tucked away in a drawer.  What a joyous blessing! Of course I am only joking about the M & M‘s disaster.  However, the above statement by Max Lucado is so true.

In May 2010, the Nashville, Tennessee area experienced one of the most devastating floods in the state’s history.  My husband and I were serving in a church in the Bellevue area which was one of the hardest hit areas.  We watched from our bedroom window as our neighbors’ homes filled with dirty river water.  Our church suffered over $200,000 in damages from sewage drains backing up into the church.  In our small suburb community, many people lost all their earthly possessions. Our home suffered damage as well but we considered ourselves blessed compared to so many of our church families and the rest of Nashville.

As soon as the disastrous flood waters receded, God poured out great blessings.  Total strangers stopped by homes that were a total loss handing out cleaning supplies, bottled water, or to assist in immediate tearing out of drywall, flooring or to help salvage some personal belongings of the homeowner.  In our neighborhood, people, who normally only waved at each other, were sharing whatever they had with their hurting neighbor.  One church member was even asked by a gentleman if they would like to sleep in his spare bedroom for the night.

Throughout the weeks and months of recovery from the Nashville flood, God provided so many blessings.  We saw our church congregation pull together to minister to its own hurting and invest in witnessing through service to our lost community.  Watching the ministry take place caused this ministry family to smile because it meant God’s people were doing exactly what the Bible calls us to do-share His love.

Never will another May pass that I do not remember the flood disaster.  I will remember how God brought together an entire Metropolitan city and surrounding area.  He broke down socioeconomic, racial, and religious barriers and united us to stand strong.  Max Lucado is right.  God often disguises disasters as blessings.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Spiritual Droughts

Throughout the world, many places are experiencing droughts from the lack of rain.  When droughts happen crops cannot grow, food shortages occur, and in some situations, people die from starvation and disease.  In my home if the chocolate drawer is running dry, my sweet tooth suffers from a chocolate drought.

Seriously, have you ever experienced a spiritual drought in your personal life?  Perhaps you feel your prayers get no higher than the ceilings.  Maybe you feel abandoned and forgotten.  I believe every Christian experiences a spiritual drought at some point in their spiritual walk.  Yet, can a minister’s wife experience it?  Oh yes, sisters, we can!

There have been so many times in my life as a pastor’s wife that I have felt so alone and forgotten.  I questioned God in our calling to certain churches, in trials in the ministry, and even in my own person life.  About three years ago I literally screamed at God and asked “where are you, God?”  It seemed that every way I turned I saw no end to the storm I was in.  I was lost, confused, afraid, and doubting.  For me, it was a scary place to be in.  I mean I am a pastor’s wife after all.  Seriously, I should know that God is right there with me.

Still I am human.  I have days when I see God all over the place.  However, there are those dark days when I wonder if God is sleeping.  At times, I have not voiced my struggle because I feared God was too busy to be concerned about my silly problems.  What this failure led to was a deep spiritual drought.

Earlier this week, I felt a drought coming.  I was concerned with a situation that involves a dear loved one.  At first I found myself asking why.  As I sat down for my quiet time, I voiced a short prayer. “God, you know what is happening.  You know the trial. You know my heart is questioning.  Please provide assurance and peace.”   God was already answering my prayer.  My quiet time passage that day was Psalms 37:23-24 where God promises to never let go of our hand.  Wow, I needed those verses and I shared them with my loved one.  Later that afternoon God sent another hug my way that continued to assure me that He knows all the details of all we go through.  These sweet reminders staved off an oncoming spiritual drought.

Have you ever watched an old western movie where a cowboy is lost in the desert and desperate for water?  He is at a point of death.  Suddenly, he scans the horizon and spots an oasis.  You see the relief he feels on his face as he soaks up the cool water.  Likewise, when we are walking through a spiritual drought, we are desperate for God to appear.  We keep searching and pleading with God.  Suddenly, just as we are at the point of giving up hope, we see God’s answer and plan.  Psalms 121:1-2 states, “I raise my eyes toward the mountains.  Where will my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”

Sisters, I say all this to assure you that spiritual droughts are okay.  Sometimes we have to experience them in order to see God’s big plan and His miracle working right before our eyes.  

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

What Is The Truth?

In this present day and time, we are exposed to a diverse number of opinions on many issues, and those who are passionate about their stance on a matter feel that they are correct in what they believe. But which side of an issue is right? What is the truth? Who has the absolute truth on a matter?

When our Savior stood before Pilate, he asked the Lord Jesus, “What is truth?” Little did he know it, Pilate was looking at Truth face to face.

Shortly before the Lord went to the cross, as He spent those final intimate hours with his disciples, He left no doubt about the essence of truth when He said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me.” John 14:6

My sisters, isn’t it good to know that we have a Savior, One who is Faithful and True, that no matter what we face in life, we can go to Him and trust that He will speak truth to our hearts about any situation.

We can all get discouraged on life’s journey, since trials come from many different sources such as conflicts in marriages, wayward children, strained family relationships, broken friendships, interactions with “unsaintly” church members, and other things like these.

When these situations seem to get the best of us, the best place to turn is not a self-help book, is not the latest issue of a popular magazine, and is not advice from a popular talk show host. The media and our culture have their own opinions about what is right and what is wrong, and what is good and what is evil.

But what does the Truth say?

All the more as we see our society moving away from “absolute truths”, and saying , “what is truth for you, may not be truth for me” and those in the culture calling “good evil and evil good”, may we remember that there is One who embodies all things good, honorable, pure, holy, and true. My sisters, let us hold on to the fact that our Lord will always give us the truth; the Scriptures say that He cannot lie…..that is not in His divine nature!

If we want to know how to be a better woman, which includes being a better wife (some of us a better pastor’s wife), a better mom, a better daughter, a better friend, a better sister, and so on, let us look to the Truth; let us look to Jesus who is the Author and Perfecter of our faith.

Now that’s the truth, and nothing but the truth!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Friday, April 10, 2015

Spring Break Conclusion.....

This is our son, her sister's little girl and our daughter-in-law.

As I mentioned earlier this week...........sometimes it is okay to STOP everything else and enjoy the moment.  This has been a wonderful Spring Break, even though the weather as not been perfect.

I got to spend the first part of the week with the grand-babies and got to conclude the week by visiting with out son and daughter-in-law in Gallatin.  They are both in school:  he is with the Corp. of Engineer Hydro Training p\Program and she is working on her Masters in we don't get to spend near enough time with them.  We would not trade the year they lived with us for anything.......and are so proud of them for following God's lead and their hearts.

We live in such a busy world that it is so easy to get caught up in "stuff" and not take time for the "important things."  Remember.....GOD FIRST, Family Second, Church third, and everything else afterwards.  

I hope you have had as blessed of a week as I have.  Good bye and I will see you in five weeks.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Spring Cleaning

In the middle of my Spring Break, I did take out a day for some "Spring Cleaning".  I went through drawers and cleaned out my closet. does a person accumulate so much?  I have to be IN THE MOOD and when I out.  I accumulated a huge black garbage bag of clothes to take to Good Will or We Care.  I decided....if they have not been worn, even if I liked them....chunk them.

Doesn't it feel great after you "clean out"?  I love to pull open my three drawers and look in my closet.  What a feeling of accomplishment.

I got to thinking in the middle of it all.....wouldn't it be nice if it was as easy to "clean out our spiritual baggage?"  You know what I mean...............those people that drag you down. Those "Debbie Downers".  Those people you have devoted many hours, days or months to just to finally realize you can't help a person if they do not want to be helped.

Being the pastor's wife, you can not always totally "clean house".......but you can commit to not letting them take control of your life.

I am going to make an attempt to pull myself away from "negative" people and things that pull me down.  In this crazy world that we live in, we need to surround ourselves with people and things that lift us up.

May we always be the "lifter" and not the "downer"!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Spring Break

I teach school and we are on Spring Break this week.  If I appear is because I AM.
Cooking breakfast with Mimi.

Stroll in the new Easter wagon.

Painting Fun.

Messy Painting Fun.

Feeding Ducks

And Craft-time.

Sometimes it okay to stop out from our BUSY schedules and BUSY lives and just enjoy the simple things.  I pray that you too will stop and enjoy life.